Snus cessation patterns - a long-term follow-up of snus users in Sweden

Harm Reduct J. 2020 Sep 10;17(1):62. doi: 10.1186/s12954-020-00405-z.


Background: Several studies have investigated the role of snus as an aid to become smoke-free, but few have focused on who use snus, how they perceive snus use, why and how they quit, and their perception of being non-snus users. The purpose of this paper is to describe snus cessation patterns.

Methods: Respondents are part of a 7-year follow-up of former smokers in Sweden. Initially, 1400 respondents were contacted regarding participation and 705 answered a web-based survey (response rate 50%). Out of them, 118 had used snus. The analyses include percentage distributions, as well as factor analyses of inventories, and configural frequency analysis in order to examine configurations of snus-related patterns.

Results: Over 80% found snus of great importance to succeed with smoking cessation and half of them continued to use snus on a long term. Those who experienced both physical and psychological effects of switching to snus were the ones who continued and vice versa; those who did not experience such effects quit using snus. None made use of professional help but had their own strategies (60%), and most respondents who quit obtained psychological benefits (68%).

Conclusions: The distinction between the concepts smoke-free, tobacco-free, and nicotine-free contributes to nuances in the debate on snus as harm reduction. Continued snus use does not mean that snus is not an effective aid to become smoke-free. Snus cessation is mostly mentioned in relation to advices on how to succeed, but the cessation process has rarely been described; therefore, this study expands the knowledge on this quite neglected topic and contributes to a more nuanced picture of snus cessation.

Keywords: Cessation; Patterns; Smoking cessation aid; Snuff; Snus; Sweden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Tobacco, Smokeless* / adverse effects
  • Young Adult


  • Nicotine